Here’s a question we just received from our reader Mark:
I have been using the Microsoft Teams application for a few months now. I just found out that in Teams after 10 minutes or so, the Teams online status will automatically be changed to away (yellow). This happens if i work on other apps and Teams runs on the background or when i take a lunch break. Would love to change my away settings and appear “available” even when i am not on Teams, as I need the clients to know I’m online and available to respond any queries they might have. How to change my Teams timeouts settings and stop teams showing me away after 5-10 minutes or will by default the Teams status will always be in sync with my Windows operating system (lack of) activity?
Thanks so much for this question.
How Teams online status is determined?
In essence, your Microsoft Teams online availability is in sync with (1) your Outlook calendar appointments/meetings, (2) your activity in the Teams app itself (such as presenting in a meeting or in a Teams call) and obviously (3) the system state – active, sleeping, idle and as such.
In this short tutorial we’ll look into a Microsoft Teams simple trick to ensure that your online status in Teams stays available (“green”) rather than away or offline even when you are away from your desk at home or work. Note that you’ll need to double check your system sleep settings for this to work. We don’t recommend running unnecessary 3rd party apps in the background to keep your system from going idle.
Staying available in Teams
To ensure that your online status stays always available (green) , proceed as following:
- Open your Microsoft Teams application.
- Click on your profile icon and ensure that the Available status is selected. If that is not the case, hit your current status and select Reset Status.
- Next, go ahead and hit the Set status message link.
- Type a custom message indicating your availability during work and if needed also after hours, for example: “Happy to help . Please feel free to contact me as needed”.
- Check on the Show when people message me checkbox to let them see your status message when they message you.
- Set the Clear status message after to Customized and set the expiration date accordingly. Note that you are able to select to keep the status message on indefinitely by selecting Never.
- Hit Done.
Review your Power settings to avoid system going to sleep
After changing the Teams away timeout, we should ensure that as long as our Windows computer is either plugged in or running on batteries, it won’t go to sleep.
- On the Windows Task bar, hit the Start button
- Type Power & Sleep settings
- Set the sleeping time as shown below:
Set your Teams online presence to busy, away or offline
In the same fashion, you can easily change your presence status to Away or offline. This will definitely come handy when you would like to get some uninterrupted work done.
- Hit your profile avatar.
- Hit on your online status, which unless you are in a midst of an Teams or regular Outlook meeting, will be Available (green).
- Then, in the drop down, hit on the Duration entry.
- Set your online status to Busy, Do not Disturb etc’ as needed.
- In the Reset status after, select Customized and set the date and time in the future.
- Now hit Done. Ensure to reset your status when you avail again or extending the duration of your current online status as needed.
- Voila, you are all set 🙂